TCW v. Gundlach (Los Angeles, California)
Trust Company of the West (TCW) sued Jeffrey Gundlach and three other defendants for allegedly stealing the company’s trade secrets and using them to open a rival asset management company, DoubleLine Capital. Gundlach counterclaimed for hundreds of millions of dollars for breach of his employment contract.
Jonathan Quinn (Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart Oliver & Sullivan), counsel for TCW, stated, “Gundlach stole so many trade secrets and confidential information that, if you printed it out, it would be 2½ times the height of the Empire State building.” According to Mr. Quinn, TCW “owed Mr. Gundlach nothing” because he and the other defendants “plotted the destruction of TCW.”
DoubleLine’s attorney, Brad Brian (Munger Tolles & Olson), told the jury about TCW’s alleged plot to force Mr. Gundlach out of the company as early as June 2009. According to Mr. Brian, TCW wanted to avoid having to pay Mr. Gundlach “hundreds of millions in dollars in performance fees for asset funds that had gone through the roof.” Mr. Brian told the jury, “They knew they were going to owe him a lot of money.”
Mr. Brian emphasized that Mr. Gundlach and the other defendants did not use any of TCW’s confidential information when they formed DoubleLine Capital LP. He also told the jury that Mr. Gundlach and the other defendants were entitled to unpaid wages from TCW.
The jury sided with Mr. Gundlach on his breach of contract claim, and awarded Mr. Gundlach $66.7M in unpaid wages. However, the jury also found that Mr. Gundlach stole TCW’s trade secrets. Judge Carl West may award damages for the trade secrets violation at a future hearing.
John Quinn (Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart Oliver & Sullivan), Steve Madison (Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart Oliver & Sullivan), and Dominic Suprenant (Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart Oliver & Sullivan) appeared on behalf of the plaintiff, TCW. Mark Helm (Munger Tolles & Olson) and Brad Brian (Munger Tolles & Olson) appeared on behalf of the defendants, Jeffrey Gundlach, Jeffrey Mayberry, Chris Santa Ana, and Barbara Van Every.
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